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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhh
I was anticipating a lot, but feared the worst. But when the book arrived I was more than thankful that I'd spent the money. This tome contains just about everything you need to know, including that which you didn't even know existed! It contains bio, info, practical (use your *imagination*) - on all conceivable topics. Into magic(k)? then you can find what you want here...
Published on 6 Feb 2005 by A. Wilkinson

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15 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good list of titles. But articles v. biased, cover title is arrogant, & certain articles can incite hate between occult groups
I would love to give this book five stars. But my conscience can only allow me to give it one, because the book is presented as being something that it is not.

It is very useful to have a comprehensive list of occult subjects in one place, as in this encyclopedia. But it should be called ``A' New Encyclopedia of the Occult', not ``The' New Encyclopaedia of the...
Published on 7 July 2007 by A Seeker


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhh, 6 Feb 2005
By 
A. Wilkinson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult (Paperback)
I was anticipating a lot, but feared the worst. But when the book arrived I was more than thankful that I'd spent the money. This tome contains just about everything you need to know, including that which you didn't even know existed! It contains bio, info, practical (use your *imagination*) - on all conceivable topics. Into magic(k)? then you can find what you want here. Astrology? Contains what you need. Kabbalah? Yup. Tarot? Aye. More, more, more. All-in-all, the best encyclopedia for the occult student (and I've had a few!).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and well researched. The best of its kind ever, 8 July 2004
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult (Paperback)
This well written encyclopedia is probably the best of its kind anywhere in the world. John Greer's prose is very clear and he goes into some of the less known aspects of the occult such as Renaissance magic, a subject in which he is clearly an expert in. The articles make such an interesting read I actually read this book from cover to cover.
I wish I had this book 10 years ago when I started getting interested in these subjects. This book is very highly recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vibratory formula of the Middle Pillar, 3 Nov 2013
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult (Paperback)
"The New Encylopedia of the Occult" is a 550-page work by John Michael Greer, who seems to be a member of about a dozen secret societies and occult groups, including three Druid orders, the Freemasons and a hoodoo church (sic). Otherwise, Greer is mostly known from the peak oil scene.

People looking for sensational information about Satanism, black magick, vampires and similar stuff might be disappointed by Greer's encyclopedia. The author concentrates on "White" ritual magic, Hermetic cabala, astrology, Tarot and Neo-Paganism, with a few references to hoodoo. There are also entries on Theosophy and similar movements. You might actually find "The New Encyclopedia of the Occult" boring!

It *is* possible to find factual errors in a voluminous work written by one man - thus, on page 480, Greer seems to suggest that the United Lodge of Theosophists was a split from the Adyar society, when in fact it broke away from Tingley's group. Ouch. OK, I just had to point that out.

Otherwise, I'm pretty sure Greer has covered everything a neophyte or zelator needs to know about telesmetic imagery, tassomancy, the Sworn Book of Honorius, Shemhamphorash, Pentagrammaton, the Ogdoadic Tradition, Malkah be-Tarshishim ve-ad Ruachoth Schechalim, and other subjects that even the Ashtar Command didn't know existed.

Four stars. And please don't hex me.
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15 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good list of titles. But articles v. biased, cover title is arrogant, & certain articles can incite hate between occult groups, 7 July 2007
This review is from: The New Encyclopedia of the Occult (Paperback)
I would love to give this book five stars. But my conscience can only allow me to give it one, because the book is presented as being something that it is not.

It is very useful to have a comprehensive list of occult subjects in one place, as in this encyclopedia. But it should be called ``A' New Encyclopedia of the Occult', not ``The' New Encyclopaedia of the Occult'. Different occult groups have different ideas about the subjects discussed. So it is extremely biased to present one perspective on a subject as `the' perspective.

For example, in the article entitled `Initiation' on p. 242, it says that spiritual, as opposed to physical ritualistic initiation, "has very little to do with the reality of initiation as actually practiced by magical lodge organizations". But this is biased because in certain significant magical lodge organizations, initiation is actually considered to be a spiritual transformation, not a physical ritual. An example is explained in Chapter II of "A Compendium of Occult Laws" by the Rosicrucian Grand Master, Dr. R. S. Clymer, entitled "The Philosophy of Occult Initiation" (1966).

I would also like to pick up on the article "Randolph, Paschal Beverly", beginning on p. 389. This is an extremely offensive article, which can incite hate between occult groups. For example, it says on p. 390, "Unfortunately Randolph's considerable creativity and intelligence were more than overbalanced by his arrogance, egotism, and uncontrolled temper". This is bad history. It is bad because it does not corroborate different primary sources before concluding what Randolph's character was actually like. Arthur Marwick, a professor of History at the Open University, explained that even the most accurate history is only about 80% true. History is a representation of the past. It cannot be considered identical with the past.

Randolph is highly respected by Modern Rosicrucian orders, and his teachings are used by them as the foundation. For example, referring to the preface of "Compendium of Occult Laws", by the Rosicrucian Grand Master Dr. R. S. Clymer, he says, "The second section, "The Philosophy of Occult Initiation", is based almost exclusively upon the secret writings of those versed in Hermetic Science and Alchemical Processes, notably Dr. P.B. Randolph ..."

`The New Encyclopedia of the Occult' even contradicts itself concerning the character of Paschal Beverly Randolph. For example, on p. 390 it says, "[Randolph] ... travelled on the anti-Spiritualist lecture circuit, attacking Spiritualism as earnestly as he had praised it a few years earlier." But as is explained in the article "New Age Movement" in the same Encyclopaedia, page 330, paragraph 2, "...occultists of the Victorian period shook their heads at the excesses and follies of the mesmerist and spiritualist movements ..." So Randolph's actions were in harmony with the Victorian occultism zeitgeist.

Randolph also explained that his intention was not to attack spiritualism. Randolph states, for example, in his book, "Soul, The Soul World," Chapter 8, Paragraph 21, in which he outlines Rosicrucian philosophy, "The sole business of this book is not to controvert any current system of philosophy . . . but to give forth what I know to be the truth." This of course means that Randolph's intention was not to attack spiritualism, but simply to express his Rosicrucian philosophy. When defining one thought system, it is necessary to contrast it against others that are different. This is the way that academic argumentation works. Such argumentation and contrasting does not constitute attacking e.g. explaining how chemistry is not biology is not an attack upon biology by chemistry. Randolph also explains: "much herein given necessarily antagonizes a few of the popular Spiritual theories" ("Soul, The Soul World," Chapter 8, Paragraph 21). Explaining that the Rosicrucian view of the Soul World is hierarchical, necessarily antagonises spiritualism, because it is impossible to describe the soul hierarchy without saying that certain souls are lower in the hierarchy than others. There would be no Masters if there were no apprentices.

Further regarding Randolph's abandonment of the spiritualist worldview. Bryan Magee says in his text `The Great Philosophers' (1987), Oxford, Oxford University Press, p. 66, that the abandonment of one's beliefs that are shown to be flawed in the light of new knowledge is part of what constitutes intellectual advance.

"There is no justice in the world's censorious eyes. They will not wait to learn a man's true character. Though no wrong has been done them, one look - and they hate". - From Medea by Euripides, Lines 18-21 (431 BCE)

So, if you want to know about occultism, `The New Encyclopedia of the Occult' is not the place to start. The information it presents is not trustworthy. And the articles require corroboration with other sources, preferably direct (e.g. what occult orders actually say about themselves), primary, and several secondary sources about a particular subject. Unbiased leading academic research on occultism can be found through `The Association for the Study of Esotericism' and `Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies'.
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The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer (Paperback - 29 Aug 2003)
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